Sunday

MORE ABOUT BOOK PRICING

I don't know if this is right or wrong - only time, or sales, will tell. I've been thinking about the pricing of my books for awhile and wondering if they should change to reflect changing times. Originally, pricing was based on production and distribution costs combined with the amount of effort, research, writing time and other stuff to determine how much I thought I should make per copy. All of that has changed.

I do agree with some friends in the industry that price should reflect the content and value to the reader to some extent, after all, how much is it worth to a reader to change their life? On the other hand, e-books are beginning to become commodities and after the initial costs of time for research and writing and the costs of design, editing and set up, there are no further costs for printing, distribution, returns, marketing, and so on. In other words, once the initial costs are covered, the author or publisher can sell unlimited copies without incurring further costs.

To some extent, the same is true for print-on-demand copies. The printer or supplier has a fixed cost for providing each additional printed book but the author has no extra costs over and above his original "inputs." It began to dawn on me that I don't care whether a reader wants a digital copy or a printed one. If I set my pricing so that my royalty works out to pretty much the same thing, regardless of format, then I could lower my prices and pass the benefit to the purchaser...so, I did. My net royalty on an e-book priced at $4.99 is almost the same for the printed version priced at $9.99. The extra cost to the buyer for the printed version goes to the printer who has to provide paper, ink, technology, labor and printing presses to produce it, but I end up with the same amount, which is perfectly alright with me.

Anyway - pretty unscientific and I'm sure there will be disagreement from traditional publishers but that's my logic on the reason for changing the prices of my books. It's nice to have the right to do so.